Mario Solis-Marich: Over 80,000 ballots are still uncounted in Maricopa County, Arizona — the county that could reelect anti- Latino Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Mario Solis-Marich: Dream Activists and Senate staffers are encouraged by signals that GOP Senators Lugar (IN) and Bennet (UT) will vote for the DREAM Act as a standalone bill.
Mario Solis-Marich: The power of Latino voters has increased dramatically and for the first time in history the Democrats are in catch up mode with the nation’s newest voting bloc.
Mario Solis-Marich: Robert Deposada, a GOP operative from the failed Bush Presidency, crossed a critical line this week by developing and placing ads urging Latino voters to stay home and not vote during this important election cycle. Like La Malinche, the infamous traitor in Mexican history, Robert Deposada has sold out his community.
Mario Solis-Marich: The question for Ellis, and other Latino GOP elected and community leaders, is why are you bringing hate into the homes of Nevada Latinos? Ellis admittedly knows that political hate speech, such as displayed in the Angle ad, is not only despicable but also has led to a rise in hate crimes against our community.
Mario Solis-Marich: The folks in charge of Democratic political strategies decided last year that immigration should not be a topic in this year’s fall elections. The head in the sand strategy was so pervasively accepted that Democratic controlled state legislatures like Colorado dumped key immigration agenda items in an ill-fated attempt to mute the debate and top Presidential advisors encouraged postponement of immigration reform. As it turns out you can’t easily quiet 14 million families and their friends.
Mario Solis-Marich: A sore spot among Latinos has long been that America accepts our cultural best while openly vilifying us in general. Salsa has long replaced ketchup as our country’s favorite condiment. Suburbanites love the hard work ethic that is embedded in our cultural DNA and that they so readily hire. Tierra, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Eve Longoria, Raquel Welch, Vicky Carr are loved. Yet these same people are conflated by the media with drug smugglers and terrorists. The disconnect is painfully irritating and quite frankly politically and socially unsustainable.
Mario Solis-Marich: As the pressure mounts around the country on the police state known as Arizona, eyes turn to Washington for comprehensive immigration reform. Top Senate aides informed me this morning that despite news stories to the contrary, Majority Leader Harry Reid has not backed off of the idea of pursing an immigration bill as the next order of Senate business. The clarification is one that may be too nuanced for some but is an indication of the balancing act the Leader feels he must make to hold the Democratic caucus together while trying to pursue legislative remedies to the huge problems left to fester during the days of the past Republican majority. The clarification however will probably not satisfy the Latino community as the disrespectful sting of the slap in the face delivered by Arizona lingers.
Mario Solis-Marich: While the state known as Arizona seethed and Latino parents fell on their knees with Rosaries in hand to pray for the future of their children Governor Jan Brewer went out for a tony dinner with gal pal and media made millionaire Sarah Palin. So happy was Brewer about her night out that she posted it on her Facebook page. It seems that after a week of “agonizing” over her decision to make Latinos the subject of racial profiling she needed a night out to blow off the steam. I guess creating wholesale big government discrimination made her hungry.
Mario Solis-Marich: The arrests led to even more unrest as supporters of the incarcerated youth turned up at the jail and demanded their release. Today passions remain strong as young Latino activists commit to continue to hit the streets demanding national leadership on the immigration issue and a veto of the Arizona State Bill 1070.
Mario Solis-Marich: In a single stroke of her pen Governor Brewer can set back her party even deeper into a demographic hole, transform her state into a national social pariah, and downgrade her political future to that of a speaker on the circuit forged by Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs. Is Brewer Tom Tancredo or is she Ronald Reagan? This week we shall find out.
Mario Solis-Marich: While Arizona struggles with budget deficits its’ legislature has decided to legalize racial profiling in a effort to arrest and deport undocumented families. While Arizona has been a hotspot in the immigration debate for some time the lightning rod has been Joe Arpio, the publicity starved Sheriff who is under federal investigation for civil rights violations. This week the Arizona state legislature has trumped Arpio by giving local police a statewide mandate to pull people over based on the color of their skin or their facial features.
Mario Solis-Marich: Latino voters, long weary of the harshness of the conservative attack on immigration reform, have grown accustomed to GOP games on the issue. However, never has a message been so clearly articulated across the social, cultural, and ethnic divide as the Spanish / English word chosen by the GOP to define itself.
Mario Solis-Marich: There are well over 1 million children in this country without documentation. These young undocumented adults hold great promise for our country’s future, and yet even at this difficult time in our country, when potential should be at a premium, the adults in charge have discarded these students’ gifts out of fear and expediency.